Ocean Vagabond | Kitesurf, Surf, Windsurf SUP in Morocco
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I looked as glasses crossed the table, touched and sang, returning to their places emptied and rimmed with lipstick and moisture. Men first sought out other men to well-wish and make plans for the future, leaving their wives for last and I wondered why they were taking so much for granted.
In the basement of the Providence Sporting Club on Gano Street, old glories stand side by side as trophies face the audience and tell a story of individual achievement and collective endeavor. As a counterpoint, a mounted print, with figures standing with their backs turned, faces the viewer. In it, an old man places his hand on a child's shoulder and a dog completes the trinity. They face the sea and beyond, and in the pale overhead sky, gulls glide, idly.
Envious, a trophy's winged creature casts its shadow on the same unsuspecting firmament. The relief of deliverance is uncontainable. It does not matter that the goal that gave the team a three-point lead in the championship, and inched the title a step closer, was late in coming and a lucky rebound at that.
Social scientists adamantly affirm that the team's weekly victory is an ablution for the week's strife and that domestic violence in Lisbon measurably decreases every time Benfica wins. Arms rose and fell as torsos turned away from the music and matched their partners' own convolutions.
There are no manuals, the steps are sinuous and yet no details are wasted in the description of the movements. Most of the dancers have lost the mother tongue, but their bodies still belong to a buried memory and follow trodden paths. The sun's brightness repeatedly lulled the musicians in the Holy Rosary Band, on Gano Street, into believing that Spring had decided to appear unannounced.
Pinched out of the warm illusion of a high noon and a scintillating sea by the conductor's baton, Artie anxiously returned his attention to the music, but before the piece's finale he would be back in the water, playing hide and seek with the shoreline, as it dipped and disappeared behind the gentle waves that caressed his longboard. If we are to believe that the eyes are the entrance to someone's soul, then this embodiment of Lady Gaga at the Halloween party at the Portuguese Social Club, is perhaps one of the more successful denials of such a proposition.
I remember watching Kung Fu with David Carradine, and wondering at how his blind Master always knew more than all of us put together, or seeing Grasshopper walking barefoot in filthy town streets and positing the sanity behind the decision. In other words, in moments such are these, interpretation must gracefully bow to the mysteries of life.
Feigning reluctance, the leaders accepted the responsibilities to which they were re-elected and their every gesture became immersed in solemnity. The accountability for the previous mandate was instrumental in the outcome of the poll, and they promised to maintain the highest levels of transparency in the exercise of power. The show of hands was unequivocal and only the most cynical could negate the obvious. A short wiry man, Tony Pinto effortlessly pockets the balls in quick succession and returns to the side table where a cue case sits open.
He unscrews the shaft from the tip and replaces it with another, made from darker wood and inlaid with mother of pearl. His opponent sighs as he racks up another frame and makes some comment about it not being Easter yet and he not being a lamb. Seeing is believing, and whether you are Thomas, a little child, a devoted parent, and feel that one's eyes bear the power to mark you as a witness, the fact is that the hurried dejection with which this outfit was thrown over a chair, together with the two slumping black plastic bags, is wrenching in what it denies and sobering in what it affirms.
Unlike the knick-knacks and bottles of hard liquor for which tickets had been sold, the porcelain doll was to be auctioned off to the highest bidder. Made in China, blue-eyed and blonde — perhaps too prissy to be an Edwardian suffragette — she was held, robustly, inside a cardboard niche.
Indifferent to the customary returning of the goods and their restocking of future fund-raising evenings, and with both arms stretched forward as a forklift would, the solemn proprietor silently received the box, carefully negotiated the swinging doors, and headed for his parked car.
I stood four feet from the stage, watched and waited in anticipation of the urge to let go and pulse to the beat. Behind me, others swirled and shook with frenzied rapture.
An elbow found its way to my ribs and left me wanting for air. Hysterical cymbals announced an approaching climax, and in the expected finale, I was saddened by my ignominious failure to feel. The bridesmaids' dress section in Ana's Bridal Gowns on Warren Avenue is on the first floor, to the left of the men's tuxedo racks as you enter from the parking lot.
As I sat, waiting to be called back into the basement fitting room once decency was believed to be restored with the dressing of bodies, a woman walked in and approached the dozens of hanging dresses. Of indeterminate age and average height, with medium brown hair and median build, she unracked dress after dress and piled the padded hangers on the couch next to the dressing cabinet.
With the sounds of the struggle between zippers, clips, buttons and laces growing to a flurry, I realized that no one robe would exit victorious. Storming out of the door, and looking back at me, she declared in a pitch made lower by contempt that "with men, it's so simple". Angelo Dundee passed away in his Tampa apartment, surrounded by family and friends. Discretely, the plush, wall-to-wall carpet soaked up the agitation and returned the parlor's mood to one of quiet certitude. Word has it that now and then he puts his hand in the till.
Kitesurfing will make you happy!
The Club's board believes him to be a decent guy all the same, looked the other way and renewed his contract. Patrons particularly appreciate the sense of order with which he arranged the bottles behind the bar, irrespective of their place of origin and sequenced alphabetically. With diligence, verbs, nouns, adjectives and adverbs were split into columns and lines. Lists were drawn and doubts noted.
Language creates an order and uses it to tell its own version of things. The conversation is a mute one and stands to a reason that is all its own, dispensing both cruelty and love, as do all things shared. Before them, I am not a part of the circle, for there are instances I will never understand and others I am not meant to.
He guides me past a folklore dance rehearsal and a room filled with photographs of all who performed in its Banquet Hall. He makes sure I digest the minutiae. But with all said, he is proudest of his son, whose name he sprinkles on each description of every activity that was sponsored by the Azorean Association. The firstborn's reach is pervasive and has punctuated the father's language even more so than the English vocabulary, and I imagine how it must feel for a son to embody a parent.
Dona Graciete stands firm as she recalls when gas prices were so high on the mainland that she and other teenagers would wait for darkness to fall and meet behind the church. From there, they would scour the parked cars for an unlocked gas tank lid and siphon off the petrol to an empty five-liter water bottle. He had replaced the lead with salt and a few of us were hit in the backside.
Eva will be the ring bearer in her cousin's wedding and she was brought to Ana's Bridal Gowns, on Warren Avenue, for a fitting, by her grandmother. Silently, she glows with the attention and knowledge of having entered a rarified space, one wholly emptied of men and where history is written with the truth of experience. But everyone there was sewing too, so there was really no escaping it. Silvino's head was turned up, his mouth split open, and his tongue darting from side to side.
As his fist came down on the Formica top, another guttural bellow drowned the infernal din that threatened to blast open the brown windowless two-storey building.
He had another ace in his hand of Lerpa and the thrill of the impending devastation was too large to contain. An empty bottle shattered to my left.
I approached the table, cleared my throat, and politely asked if I might photograph the game. The game started at 3: As the referee blew his whistle, a light drizzle began to fall on the players, and make the sweaters cling to their bodies and glisten, as the moon's fullest night drew its arc over the stadium in Madeira.
In Warren Avenue, the sun shone sharply, unapologetic for the bitterly cold December afternoon. Sitting outside, around the back of the club, Artur Ferreira kept his cigar alight and fondly eyed the brand new Mercedes SUV his four Dunkin' Donuts franchises had paid for.
During a break in the rehearsal of the Folklore Dance group at the Portuguese Social Club, and defying unreasonable odds, an official shirt of the Benfica football team centered my attention. A long-standing club member with season tickets and reserved seating, I gave up my position following a season when 38 players were bought and sold and decided to withdraw from what I saw as a lame excuse for generalized corruption.
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Still, the red is a full one and I cannot deny it has stopped running in my veins. Standing above the stainless steel counter, I listened as stories of wedding days were exchanged between the women preparing the sausages. Their words belonged to another time and place but in the Portuguese Social Club's kitchen, they rang with the freshness of morning news. Well, I don't know about that but three years later I had a daughter and my husband decided he wasn't ready for married life and went to work on a ship.
I haven't heard from him since. Almost under the shadow of the neighboring church of Our Lady of the Rosary, Mariano Rebello started a funeral home that carried his name in In the beginning, their services were only advertized in the window of a local Portuguese grocery store, and rendered in a rented storefront off Hope Street. Jackie tells me his son Johnny succeeded him in and rapidly became the Portuguese community's natural leader.
As I listen, I imagine the figure's stately entrance and think of how respect is a solemn sentiment, which, when worn correctly, must be as hard to dispel as the odor of decay and formaldehyde. Aisle after aisle, pew after pew, the stations are clearly marked. Their story is ours, so they have us believe. Each moment, shelf, enunciated and repeated; committed to habit and memory. And yet, it is left to us to justify their differences and make peace with their mysteries. To suggest that the burning spiciness between red and green peppers is analogous to the suffering undergone by the One described, is as outrageous as hinting that as heaven above, so hell below.
I am confused as I rummage through the memory drawers, brimming with superheroes and broken light sabers, and fail to come up with the name of one so imbued with the national colors as was embodied in this costume at the Portuguese Social Club's Halloween party. The masked wonder seems to share the perplexity and although her question might beckon a reason for being the subject of the camera's eye, she feels sufficiently anonymous not to give it too much thought and enjoy the attention.
The Amigos da Terceira Social Club, an Azorean association in Pawtucket, was founded 23 years ago and given a home in a previously Italian-owned space on Pawtucket Avenue. Today, little is where the Giardino family left it when the court took possession of the establishment and auctioned the estate following their conviction for large-scale narcotics trafficking.
According to Francisco Santos, the incumbent Portuguese Club General Assembly President, a few neoclassical pieces were allowed to stand in the current decoration as a reminder of the blindness of greed and the downfall of empires. Hindsight is a wonderful thing Jackie tells me.
His mother had been cremated and the urn with her remains was on the mantelpiece, in their home off Taunton Avenue, and people were telling stories and remembering, and as he was refilling their glasses, he saw, horrified I imagine, a guest he couldn't remember the name of, put out his cigarette right in his mother's ashes.
Downstairs, a queue quickly formed outside the kitchen as men and women helped themselves to the steaming main course. In a few years, we'll be too old and there will be nobody to take care of things. To make time stand still. To remember the perfect arc described by the ball as it entered the upper righthand corner of the goal posts, the crowd's roar suspended by a single, dangling syllable, in unison.
To never forgo the paltry affirmation of place and faith. To not forget the crushing onslaught of nationhood. To show and sell. If New York is spelled with a knife, a fork, a bottle and a cork, then these hanging artifacts at Dinis's restaurant on Warren Avenue, in East Providence, must suggest another sort of city, or even the lack of one.
Raised high on the roof beam, the speckled enamel describes its own constellations. Azoreans are proud of their ability to read the elements and harness the ocean, and Genuine Madruga is one of only 10 people who have single handedly circumnavigated the globe past Cape Horn. Watching him autograph the book he authored narrating his feats, I cannot help but think that for a forensic graphologist, his handwriting would determine, beyond a reasonable doubt, both his claims as a sailor as well the conundrum suggested by his own name.
Learning to Kitesurf What is kitesurfing? When you kitesurf, you stand on a kiteboard similar to a wakeboard or surfboard and pilot your kite, which pulls you across the water.Blue Shirt Club
You experience the carefree feeling that comes from gliding over the water just as in surfing, but also the power of the wind, which is considerably easier to control than in windsurfing. Thanks to the advances that have been made in equipment design, kitesurfing has developed into a safe sport that can be learnt quickly and easily. Your professional KBC instructor guides you to quick success through safe, sustainable training. The KBC concept gives you the tools you need to use your kite and board safely and independently once you have completed the course.
In Thomas Beckmann founded the Kiteboarding Club KBC — which now includes 9 kitesurfing schools worldwide where you can learn to kitesurf safely, successfully and having fun while you do so. We offer courses for all skill levels at each of our Centres.
Can I learn kiting? You know how to swim. You enjoy exercise and outdoor sport. The ideal spot to learn kitesurfing is one with water that is knee- to hip-deep, a stable, consistent wind and space on the water. Take a look at our map to find our KBC Centres in the best practice spots for a safe start in kitesurfing: How do I learn kitesurfing? For those who have limited to no previous experience or who simply want very thorough training, we recommend the Intensive Basic Course.
The Basic Course consists of 8 hours in a group, spanning over days of lessons, depending on conditions. Students will learn the essential elements of kitesurfing in groups of 2 to 6 people.
In order to practice and to master the techniques, the second part of the course allows for plenty of practical training time.